The Truth About Goals

I was going to include some goal talk in my Monthly Medley, but decided I wanted to dedicate a whole post to it instead. We’re past the halfway point of January and it’s unfortunately highly likely that New Year’s resolutions are beginning to be broken or forgotten. That’s okay. A goal’s beginning doesn’t have to take place on any particular day of the year, month, or week. You can start and restart as needed.

I’ve made it a goal this year to work out at least 3 days a week for 12 weeks, which I actually started slightly before the new year. It’s my own little hack to begin things before the new year because I feel like the goal seems a little freer and it’s not such a big to-do that must (or should) begin January 1st. Instead, I set into motion what I want in the coming year before the year begins. That way it’s not a life makeover, it’s continuing to move in my desired direction.

Well, I’ve actually been pretty good at accomplishing my 3 workouts a week, thanks to my little tracker I have on my closet where I give myself a sticker for every completed workout. Visual aids help me so much with holding myself accountable, otherwise I forget or don’t prioritize it by saying I’ll do it tomorrow. Shocker: I typically don’t do it tomorrow…or the next day…or the next. I had shared that I did my workout for the day, even though I really didn’t want to, on social media and I had a coworker reach out to me saying that I always seem to stick to my goals and stay consistent, which they’re struggling with currently. Super flattering, but not entirely accurate. I have to get back on the horse many times. Many, many times. I wanted to share, though, some things that I’ve found to be true about goals and the journey towards achieving them.

  • You have to care (or at least be curious). If you don’t care about your goal, it probably won’t get accomplished. Well, it might if someone else is forcing it on you, but then that means resentment is probably in tow. Not ideal. You have to care about what it is you’re trying to accomplish or be curious enough that you’re going to stick with an experiment and see how it goes, like eating plant-based for x amount of time.

  • It helps to know your ‘why’. If your why is that you simply feel like you should, your goal will most likely not be a priority. Knowing your why helps during those days when you don’t feel motivated and want to let things slide for today, but “just today”. Let me know if you really get back on track tomorrow or if the let-it-slide days become a chain.

  • Most goals are going to require a change in habits. Whether it’s procrastination, shifting your schedule, becoming disciplined by saying “yes” or “no” when you’d like to say the other, or altering where, when, how, and what you eat. You have to be willing to work on your habits. I’d recommend not overhauling all of your habits at once, though. Baby steps. One thing at a time makes it easier to focus on it and stick with it. Otherwise, it’s easy to feel like your whole life has become restricted and it’s too difficult to remember all the things you’re trying to do differently. Focus on changing one habit and once that’s set in place, move on to another one. Continue as needed.

  • Reaching your goals is going to require you to learn about yourself. What works for you? What are you likely to stick with? What makes you go offtrack? What lies do you tell yourself? How do you sabotage yourself? How do you go about goal setting and achieving? What might you need to do differently? It’s trial and error, over and over, for some goals. Reflection and resilience are required.

  • Forgive yourself when you mess up or get sidetracked. There’s no need to shame yourself into your goals. Don’t start calling yourself an idiot, worthless, lazy, a screw up, a slacker, a fat slob, or anything else under the sun. You are human. Shit happens. Readjust, reevaluate if you care, and get refocused on your why. (Hint: also keep the name-calling and shaming out of your ‘why’.)

If you had lofty goals for the new year that have already fallen to the wayside, that’s perfectly fine. Pick yourself back up, make sure you genuinely care about accomplishing them, realize your ‘why’, focus on changing one habit at the moment, take time to reflect, and speak kindly to yourself along the way. I believe in your ability to reach your goals!

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